December 24th, 2014

dark flower

Once and Christmas Eve

Last night we packed Beatrice up in my wife's car. We drove to a neighborhood in Plano called Deerfield. Deerfield is a luxury tract home neighborhood whose residents go all out with Christmas lights.

Our dog Beatrice had never been on a Christmas lights tour before. Unlike every other dog I ever owned, Beatrice dreads car rides.Car rides serve as harbingers of vet visits or kennel sojourns. She sat in my lap as my wife drove. She expressed her dismay. I comforted her as we drove to Deerfield.

When we arrived at the turn-in street for the Deerfield subdivision, the traffic turned out to be bumper-to-bumper. Lots of other Christmas spirits shared our idea.
We turned in and went down the first street on the right. The light shows featured
Santa on a horse, angels, and lots of patterns. One yard had an LED screen saying "turn to 89.9". This yielded a radio broadcast to which the yard lights were synchronized.

This being Texas, nothing is ever simple. Things are always a bit bigger and a bit more off the wall. From the driveway of one home by which our car paused, a carriage pulled by white horses emerged. It drove right behind our call.

This was like catnip to Beatrice. She had never, to my knowledge, seen a horse before. But she began to bark. This had some slight effect on the horse. Beatrice was pleased. The rest of our car ride seemed to buck her up tremendously.

We decided to limit our Deerfield visit to that one street. We instead drove among less-touristed streets and saw lesser but very nice light shows. This fit very much in my theory that one never visits a crowded national park,but instead visits a little-known state park nearby. We had a lovely drive.

This morning, Christmas Eve, I worked until 11:00, and drove home while on a business call. Then my wife and I drove to the Winspear Opera House in downtown Dallas for the one o'clock performance of the musical "Once". I had loved the film when it came out, and the play was a little Christmas gift/celebration. The play was very well-done, a broad but not overblown, Broadway-ish rendering of the more nuanced small film. We enjoyed it very much. I have a weakness for well-done Broadway shows somewhat incompatible with my love for abstract,odd music. Our seats were quite good, on the ground floor about ten rows back and to the left.

We drove home, where I took Beatrice for a walk around the park pond. Then we set out for a Christmas Eve dinner at Texas Land and Cattle steakhouse with my brother and his wife and son. We had a lovely dinner. My sister-in-law described how they went to an evening of K-Pop featuring two stars of a variety show. We gave my nephew his Christmas gifts. I had supplemented the gift cards I had gotten with a few fun inexpensive gifts: corvid bookends,a SPACE 2015 calendar,and an illustrated graphic novel of the Hobbit.

We had a lovely time together. This all reminded me of my childhood, in which we had a t-bone steak dinner cooked on an electric skillet for Christmas Eve. Tonight I had a grilled chicken, but the idea was the same.

Now I am home watching "It's a Wonderful Life", and feeling a peace I call Christmastime.